By Kparobo Ehvwubare
Delta State Governor, Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa who blatantly told Deltans that his administration would not continue the controversial Independent Power Project, IPP, Oghara, considering the huge sum the project has gulped, has finally made a U-turn on the project, just as he has set up committee to come up with a viable means of executing the project.
The Committee set up by the governor, Chaired by Commissioner for Finance, Delta State, Barr David Edevbie led government delegations and officials Access Bank to the project site today, where he took the bank officials round the project site to ascertain the level of work done and for the officials to have insight of what the project was all about.
The bank officials and government delegations also visited the site where some of the equipment, such as turbine Gas plant, Generator set among other equipment for the project were kept.
Addressing newsmen at the end of the project inspection, the Chairman of the Committee and Finance Commissioner, David Edevbie explained that Gov. Okowa decided to set up the committee to look into the project and come up with a workable means of executing the project.
Edevbie noted that they were at the project site for the officials of Access Bank Plc to have insight of the project, whom the State government may partner/ borrow money from to execute the project, assured of his committee’s readiness to do justice to the project. The commissioner also stated that the committee would either advise the State government to embark on borrowing or seek for Public-Private partnership to ensure that the project was completed.
Mr. Edevbie stated further that he was not sure if government insured the equipment, posited that the present administration would also investigate the sum paid to contractors so far, with the view of either revoking the contract or order contractor back to site.
It was gathered that the IPP project has gulped over N19Billion, excluding payment of land acquisition, insurance among others.
According to inspection report, which was presented at the 13th Exco meeting on July, 2014; contained in annexure 8, stated that the State government has paid over N19Billion to contractor but work done till that date was about N12Billion, advising government not to make further payments to contractor.
It would be recalled that Gov. Okowa during a town hall meeting in Oghara earlier this year stated that his administration would not continue the IPP project because of the huge sum it has gulped, noting that it would take over N200B to complete the project.